We actually did this experiment before Christmas, but it’d also be a fun way to use up your extra candy canes after Christmas too!
Dissolving candy canes is a great investigation for learning how to set up a fair test! This means you need to think about which variables you change and which you keep the same.
Controlled variables are things you keep the same. In this investigation the controlled variables are:
- size of candy cane
- time the candy cane is in a liquid
- amount of liquid used
The independent variable is the thing you change. In this experiment the independent variable is is the liquid the candy canes are sat in.
The dependent variable is the thing you measure. in this investigation the time it takes for the candy cane to dissolve is measured.
Candy Cane Experiment – dissolving candy canes
3 containers of the same size
Set up your containers, being careful with the hot water.
Add a candy cane to each container the same way up.
Observe each candy cane at 5 minute intervals ( can you design a table to record your observations? )
The photo below shows our final results after 20 minutes.
Vinegar is on the left, cold water in the middle and hot water on the right.
You can see that the vinegar completely dissolved the submerged candy cane, the cold water just dissolved the outer layer and the hot water dissolved past the outer layer and the submerged section broke off.
The thing we found most interesting was that the hot water turned red and the vinegar and cold water turned grey.
You could also try dissolving a candy cane in hot chocolate to see what happens.
Inspiration Laboratories has a great candy cane activity using different temperatures of water that would be great to try too.
More Christmas Science Experiments
Try these fun Christmas Lava Lamps
Set up a fun, Fizzy Elf Lab and find out what happens when baking soda and vinegar react.
How about making a fun Frosty the Snowman?
I also have a FREE Christmas Science eBook full of easy Christmas science experiments you might like!